The State of the Optometric Profession 2012

This month, the President of the American Optometric Association, Dori Carlson, O.D. came out with a video addressing the “State of the Profession” which addresses optometry and all of those involved. I urge each and every individual to view this statement for it is essential that you understand what optometry is going through at this moment in time.

Why the following groups of people should watch this video:

Pre-Optometry Students: You should thoroughly understand what the AOA is, what they do for optometry, and of course the key events going on in optometry. Going to your interview not knowing about the AOA and current events is highly frowned upon.

Optometry Students: At this moment you are mapping your future as an O.D., yet how can you create an accurate map without understanding “The State of the Profession”? I suggest you watch this video so that you can plan your future to ensure that our profession moves in the right direction.

Optometry Doctors: You are the role models for all of the optometry students out there and it is essential that you show us how to bring optometry in the right direction. As an optometry student, I believe you should watch this video to reflect on the positive things that the AOA has done for optometry and then use this mindset to show students the way to success.

As a 3rd year optometry student, I personally want to thank the AOA and the individuals who have worked tirelessly to keep our profession going in the right direction. In return, I will make sure that myself and my generation follow your legacy.

Matthew Geller
Founder & Senior Editor; 


CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE “State of the Profession”


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~ Below is a message taken directly from the AOA Newsletter ~

AOA-Led Victories

  • We advocated strongly for a childrens’ eye and vision benefit to be a part of the essential benefit for insurance plans in the state insurance exchanges. AND WE WON!
  • This week, I’m hearing many of our members are now receiving generous payments from the CMS for implementing electronic health records (EHRs) in their practices thanks to our earlier victory in changing language in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. So far, optometrists have earned more than $11 million in EHR incentives!
  • This year, optometrists will receive over a BILLION dollars in Medicare reimbursements. That works out to several thousand dollars per member–another very tangible return on our investment in the AOA.
  • Together, states and the AOA have defended optometry payments and procedures covered in over a dozen states regarding Tricare, as well as other third–party payers.
  • Our PAC raised over $2 million in the last election cycle. That is a record, and we are now one of the largest health care PACs in the country.
  • Our optometry public affairs campaign is now in its 7th year. Thanks to the AOA, and your support of the AOA, we are now positioned as the “go to” organization when the media needs information about eyes, eye care and vision.

Facts about Finances and Membership

  • Financially, we continue to be strong because of your commitment to the AOA and the AOA Board’s resolve to control costs and redirect resources to advocacy efforts both federally and statewide. In fact, the budget we are presenting to the House of Delegates in June will seek to add $1 million to our reserves.
  • Our membership and market share remains much higher than most health care associations.
  • The good news about membership is that we have roughly the same number of members today as we had in 2008. The bad news about membership is that we have roughly the same number of members today as we had in 2008.

The Challenges Ahead

  • Medicine has already declared war on the Harkin Amendment, which would clearly diminish patients’ access to optometrists.
  • States are seeing record numbers of anti-patient and anti-access bills introduced into their legislatures.
  • A change in the administration or control of either or both Houses of Congress will reshuffle the deck on health care reform. We must be prepared for that.

The AOA is the only organization with the will, the means, and the manpower to minimize that risk and capitalize on the opportunity for our members and the patients we serve. We put the “boots on the ground” for our profession every day.
Building for the Future

I ask you to continue to be an advocate for our profession and our patients. If you know optometrists who are not members, invite them back into the family to join us. I, and the AOA Board cannot do this job alone. We need each and every optometrist, private practice, employed, academic, or federal. We need all of you.

Thank you for what each and every one of you do every day to enhance our profession and move us forward. When we move together, we move mountains. We always have, and we always will.

~ Above is a message taken directly from the AOA Newsletter ~

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